A long time ago, the idea was born to build a social network that allows organizations to share educational, funding, and volunteering opportunities with the world. Before coming together to make this idea a reality, each member of our team lived and learned some unforgettable lessons. Our collective knowledge is what gives the World At Competition (WAC) project its edge and what keeps us staunchly committed to our mission.
In this blog post, we’d like to share some of those lessons with you.
Make the first step
As our web-developer Sajib Hasan from Bangladesh said, “There is an opportunity waiting for us in every corner.” The problem is that many people are afraid to take it. Hasan was an introvert and preferred to remain alone, even when he joined a college. Not many people knew about his potential as he had only a few friends. One time, an impromptu speech competition was announced but nobody wanted to participate. When Hasan suddenly raised his hand, some people were very skeptical that he could pull it off. How surprised they were when he actually won the competition!
Turn failures into opportunities
Our PR-manager Valerie Boyko started her amazing successes from great frustration. Like most Ukrainian high-school students, she dreamed of going to the United States via the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX). The competition was really tough and therefore very desirable (to compare, even Harvard admission rates are higher than the chances of becoming a FLEX finalist) but she believed in her excellent academic and leadership skills. When she got the results, the failure motivated her to be stubborn and to find her own opportunities to discover the world. That is how she came across many new exchange programs, grants, conferences, and scholarships! And met us.
Challenge your mind
Don’t believe everything you see on TV. Be a thinker not a consumer and explore the world for yourself. Another WAC-developer, Andres Vargas from Ecuador, encourages people to look for opportunities and travel abroad because that “is the only way you can rediscover yourself and bring back to your country not only knowledge but the best from each person you get to know.” The ability to share and exchange ideas with representatives of different parts of the globe was one of the most valuable experiences for him. Many stereotypes were broken during his trips to North America.
Set a goal and reach it
Dmytro Moroz is our Ukrainian designer who studies in the United Kingdom. He always dreamt of inventing or making something special in order to leave his footprint in life. Dmytro was lucky enough to attend the best specialized schools across the country and to have great teachers who inspired him to reach new heights. Suddenly something went wrong… “Somehow I let myself forget who I was before and I started seeing the world as “an adult”, losing my motivation and optimism. One night I got a message from a friend regarding a new start-up being launched. Here it is! My chance! To make something special, to leave a footprint! I applied without even knowing all of the details. I just felt that it was the right thing to do. And when I got to meet the one who has started it all, I understood how right the decision was. So here I am, taking more from life and using opportunities. Even more, I’m creating and sharing opportunities with others! What could possibly be more satisfying?”
The majority of people are kind
I’m Denys Andrushchenko, project leader of WAC. I love traveling and unusual sports. I’ve been to the best restaurants and forums with foreign ministers but also experienced moments of extreme thirst among the mountains and hungry weeks due to lack of money. My country has gone through revolution and now is facing an international threat; yet still I believe that most people in the world are kind. Trust me. While hitchhiking in Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, and Russia, I met regular people who may seem outstandingly good to anyone who thinks hitchhiking is inherently dangerous. In fact, I have proven dozens of times that humans are naturally willing to help each other. They might seek attention, may not be in a friendly mood, or even be blinded by wrong assumptions, but they are not going to beat and rob every stranger. On the contrary, each person has unique stories, original thoughts, and their own big dreams.
Here at WAC we learn from each other in order to build a strong network that will reflect the desires of millions of young people worldwide to self-develop and help their communities. We had the chance to pursue our dreams and WAC will share this chance with people around the world. Activists from Indonesia, Nigeria, and India have already joined us. So can you.
We invite you to learn more about us and join the project at the World At Competition blog.